Hello Shitstorm, Hello Meatgrinder: Installment #6, When to Stop Fighting and Say Fuck It

By Adam Gnade

Sometimes life rises up like a great stinking wave of trash and swamps down on you. There you are caught up in this awful, churning garbage sea of damp coffee filters and cat food cans and banana peals and milk cartons. The current carries you away and you get one last look at the sun before you’re pulled down. Or you keep above the surface as best you can and you wave for help but sometimes your friends aren’t there for you. Maybe they’re in deep with their own problems or maybe they’re just looking away. Of course this won’t be the case all the time but sometimes when shit gets catastrophic it’s okay to shut the blinds and wait it out for a while. Walls and bans, hate crimes and the new breed of Nazi … we’re hit from all sides (and of course sometimes we’re hitting ourselves). Draw the brakes. Call time-out.

This is not a permanent solution or even close to long term but taking a day or two off to ignore the shit-scape of life can be healthy. The important thing is to know when to get out of bed again and take back what’s yours. That’ll be different for everyone and for each occasion but when you need to acknowledge the sheer pain of being alive on this weird, dying, beautiful piece of spacerock, saying “Fuck it” and closing up shop until you can deal might be a lifesaver.

Because it won’t “get better,” at least in any ultimate sense. People who say that are hiding from the harsh realities of life — the brutal truths that show you that existence will always be hard, and though you will have wonderful moments that make it all worthwhile, you will continue to get punched in the face every now and again until you die. So, take time off, say “Fuck it,” be indulgent, be lazy, break your own rules, eat too much, hide from the world, and when it’s time to get up and stomp some ass again, do so like the warrior you always were to begin with.


ADAM GNADE is the author of three books of fiction, Hymn California, Caveworld, and, most recently, Locust House. His series of novels and connected “talking records” are released by Pioneers Press and Three One G. He is also the author of a work of nonfiction, The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin‘ Sad. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, he now lives and writes on the Hard Fifty Farm situated in the hilly countryside between Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS. He is currently working on a “large and substantial novel about Americans at home and away” with a late-2017 release. His work is available at http://www.pioneerspress.com.